One of India's largest restaurant listing and food delivery company Zomato has successfully conducted a test flight of its drone delivery in India. During the trial run, the drone carried a payload of 5 kilograms and managed to cover 5 kilometres in 10 minutes, Zomato's founder and CEO Deepinder Goyal said in his official blog post. With the help of drones, Zomato aims to complete commercial food deliveries in less than 15 minutes in the future.
"Fifteen minutes is only possible if we take the aerial route – roads are not efficient for very fast delivery. While our biker fleet nowadays delivers in 30.5 minutes on an average (which is the fastest in the industry as far as we know), every incremental minute with our fleet becomes harder as it separates our users from their ordered food," Goyal said.
Now that the company is making inroads into the drone-based delivery, the company has plans to cover long-distance food deliveries in the future. Goyal also explained a scenario that if you are in Gurgaon and you want to order Parathas from Delhi's Chandni Chowk, it would be nearly impossible for Zomato's delivery valet to travel 35km in less 30 minutes in an attempt to deliver your food on time.
"(As for) long-distance delivery – let’s say, you are in Gurgaon (outside Delhi) and we want to get you paranthas from Chandni Chowk (35 kms) at the heart of Delhi, in less than 30 minutes – would be impossible on a bike, or in the metro, or even with Usain Bolt."
In December, Zomato acquired TechEagle, an Indian drone-delivery startup for an undisclosed amount. TechEagle is expected to help Zomato create an infrastructure where it can deliver food orders using a drone. Zomato's TechEagle acquisition came right after regulations enabled commercial usage of drones in India starting 1st December 2018.
Founded in 2015, TechEagle is aimed at custom made drones that are capable of carrying up to 5 kg payloads. TechEagle was founded by IIT Kanpur alumni Vikram Singh Meena while he was studying in college.